Monday, March 31, 2008

The Holocaust

Yesterday in the computer lab at the religious school where I teach I found a reaction both rewarding and disturbing at the same time. It was seventh and eighth graders that came into the lab. The teacher had actually been discussing hatred of Jews with them over the past few weeks. He wanted them to go to sites that preached Jewish hatred so they could see what others were saying.

I actually liked this assignment as it gives people a chance to see the lies that are told, the hatred that exists and how, this is something that is preached about all Jews, even those who do not identify with the religion. One problem we ran into is, not surprisingly, a number of these sites were blocked. I was able to find a few sites they could get to and we also had the students examine those sites that look to expose sites that preach hatred and prejudices.

One of the sites we were able to get to was one which claimed the Holocaust was a Jewish hoax and never really happened. The sites did show some of the images from the Holocaust. I still have not exactly figured out why a site claiming the Holocaust is fictional would include actual images but that is a topic for another time. A number of the students were reading the information and using a hand to cover up the images on the computer screen. Reading the words was fine, seeing the pictures was not.

I found it gratifying that 12, 13 and 14 year olds would find this disturbing, that it would bother them to the extent that it did. Sometimes we become so desensitized to such images it is a shame. It was, in an awkward sense, a positive experience.

On the other hand, I found it depressing that many of these students had never seen images from the Holocaust and some did not even know what it was. There was a time that no one could have started seventh grade having been that sheltered from this tragic episode of Jewish history. I think it is unfortunate that children this old are still being sheltered from the information and pictures. We must continue to be bothered by this but we must continue to make sure we are educating today’s students about these events.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Parents Expectations

My son has started playing the viola this year. He enjoys it but, quite honestly, he is not very good. Obviously, he has recently started so I am not expected great things from him (at least not yet). Still, there is another problem. He does not want to practice. This does not mean he does not want to play the instrument; he just wants to be able to pick it up when it is time to play and dazzle everyone without having but the time and effort into it.

I actually understand this. When I was younger, I played trombone. The same could be said of me. I wanted to play and play well but I did not want to spend time, or waste time, practicing.

As a parent, I try to urge my son to practice and put the necessary time in. It has just as much of an impact on him as it did on me when my parents used to make the same argument. But, what happens when parents have the same expectations as children, that they should be able to avoid practicing and just pick up an instrument when they want and play like a professional?

This past week I was at a teachers’ meeting for the Hebrew school where I teach. The discussion ultimately came to what parents expect us to teach their children. Of course, each parent is going to have a different feeling about this. Still, it occurred to me that the parents, in large part, want the same thing as their children.

The children come in to Hebrew school and tell you they do not want to be there. They are only in class for three-and-a-half to four hours a week. They do not want to have to pay attention. They want to be able to talk with their friends. They do not want to do any work at home but they want to leave being able to speak and read Hebrew fluently. The parents seem to think this is a fair expectation. I have heard some parents tell teachers “It is only Hebrew school,” or ask “Why did you separate my child from her friend, they just want to be able to talk”. Still, those parents do not understand why, when their child comes home why s/he is unable to speak fluently.

In addition, the parents want to avoid doing anything in the home to help this education. They want to have someone baby sit their child and be the surrogate for teaching Hebrew and Judaism, giving the child a Jewish identity. Again, it does not work like that. What is taught at Hebrew School must be reinforced at home.

I am not sure what the solution to the problem is, or if you will ever be able to solve it but borrowing a concept from Perkei Avot (although making some modifications to make my point), “Just because you will not solve the problem, it does not exempt you from trying and discussing it”. By the way, I believe the actual quote from Perkei Avot is, “Just because you will not finish the job, you are not exempt from starting it”.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Disrespectful Students

I find students who refuse to learn particularly aggravating and annoying. In the Hebrew school where I teach, we started teaching about Passover. I know that the students have heard this numerous times and think it is boring, but the truth is this is fascinating stuff and arguably applies to us more in today’s times than in years gone by.

Passover, more than any other holiday in the Jewish religion reflects the current time. Things have been added to the Haggadah (The Passover story) due to the things that were going on at a particular time in history. The story is about going from degradation to affirmation. That is something that we have all experienced at one time or another.

It does not need to be a religious event we are talking about. Simply the fact of being able to overcome adversity speaks to us and deals with the Passover theme. Unfortunately what I saw today were students who simply decided this was boring and did not give the teacher a chance. In addition, I saw students who were simply rude and obnoxious to the teacher.

In order to make it interesting, the students need to at least care a little bit. Today, I did not see this take place.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cults Revisited

I was reviewing some comments left on some of my blog posts earlier today. Somehow, some of these comments escaped me and I ended up reading them for the first time today. An interesting set of comments had to do with cults. I have been accused of being closed minded, admitting to it and feeling that only my view should be voiced.

These comments bring to mind a number of reactions. First of all, I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, probably stronger than anyone who left a comment suggest I was intolerant of a point of view other than my own. I actually am an absolutist when it comes to the First Amendment, a position the Supreme Court as a whole has NEVER accepted. That being said, if I am sponsoring an event, DO NOT expect me to give air time to points of view that are dangerous.

Recently, the Fire Department held a seminar about fire safety where I live. Those biased individuals refused to give my friends who are pyromaniacs and arsonists an opportunity to voice the opposition to fire safety. How dare they prohibit the opposing viewpoint from being offered.

After I left the seminar on fire safety, I went to hear a speaker talk about the importance of the Church in today’s society. There was someone in attendance who was heckling the speaker and urging everyone to pick up a copy of the New Testament and set it on fire, leaving it next to the lit candles in the church. Can you believe the audacity of the church? Not only did they not give this person a chance to voice the opposition, they actually had the person removed.

As stated in my response to the initial comment in the previous post, when schools bring in police officers to talk about staying away from strangers, they somehow forget to invite a kidnapper in to urge the children to talk to strangers and take rides with people they do not know.

Obviously, there are times when it is unacceptable to voice the opposing side of an argument, especially if you are the sponsoring group. I have ALWAYS taught my son that we need to be respectful of people and their religious beliefs (Does that include Satanic Worship as well, which is also an organized form of religious belief). I have taught him that we should enjoy watching people enjoy their religion. I want and expect the same courtesy in return. When organizations like Jews-For-Jesus and others openly try to proselytize, when certain cults look to remove people from their families and force their ideas of values and religion down the throats of those people who have been kidnapped and/or brained washed, that is not showing the same courtesy.

Make no mistake about it. Jews for Jesus is a dangerous cult that looks to confuse people, not show them the light. Do not expect me to offer them a forum to preach their dangerous beliefs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Amalek Lives!

I am not so naïve as to suggest that anti-Semitism does not exist; I know it does. Still, sometimes something happens that just drives the point home as to home strong it is.

A few days ago I was working on putting a lesson plan together for Hebrew school. I was on the internet and entered a few key words dealing with famous Jews. A number of sites came up as a result of my search, many that were usable. There was also one site that came up that was basically a site promoting anti-Semitism.

As I said before, I know it exists, and I know such websites exist. Still, when you come across one and read the misinformation and lies on the site, it is amazing. It basically look to perpetuate every negative myth and stereotype about Jews. All Jews are rich it proclaims and Jews control the world’s money. It brought to mind an old Archie Bunker line from All in the Family where Mike (The son-in-law) says, “Not all Jews have money,” and Archie responds, “I’ve never meet one who doesn’t”.

The difference of course is, while many people took him seriously, Archie Bunker was a character designed to show just how foolish such opinions were and how ignorant people were who had this belief. Years ago when I worked in the Bible Belt, a co-worker (who had never come across Jew in his life) commented that I was nothing like what he imagined based from the stereotypes and he wanted to know how they got started.

The site goes on to say that Jews are liars and cheaters. It goes so far as to praise Hitler for trying to fix the problem of the Jews. It is scary to see such hatred and ignorance.

We have just finished reading the story of Purim. I would like to believe we have come a long way. Unfortunately we haven’t. Amalek still lives!

Friday, March 21, 2008

No Basis In History

I had always assumed, since Purim was a post-Biblical holiday, one could find historic references to the holiday. Having done some LIMITED research on the internet today, I was fascinated to find that there really is not any recorded reference to the events outside of the Magilah.

It all started when I went to shul (services) this morning to hear the Magilah reading. After services I stayed for a little breakfast and conversation. One of the people talked about what a ‘Nice story’ this is and while it is looking to teach us a lesson, it has no basis in fact. I argued that it did, again making the claim that as a post-Biblical holiday, of course you can find reference to at least some of the events.

“Where,” asked my friend and I told him I would look it up. “You do that,” he responded.

I then set out to do my research via the internet. What I was able to find was that King Ahashvarush, whom we read about in the Magilah, is believed to be Xerxes. There apparently is no mention of Vashti (The queen that King Ahashhvarush banishes) or of Esther, the woman he picks to be his new queen and the one who ultimately saves the Jews.

Apparently most people believe the story of Esther to be ‘historic fiction’. Certainly religion requires a certain amount of faith. People can believe without having a basis in fact or in history. Still, I just found it interesting that there was not historic writings outside of the Megilah to back up, at least some of the facts, of the Purim story.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Tonight begins the holiday of Purim. It is a lot of fun and it is one of the non-Biblical holidays. The story takes place in Persia where the wicked Haman, an advisor to the King, King Ahashvarush, devised a plot to kill all the Jews because one Jew, Mordechai, refused to bowed down to the advisor.

Through a series of unlikely events, the King needs a new Queen and holds a pageant, Esther, a Jew, is chosen. She hides the fact that she is Jewish from Ahashvarush until she feels the time is right. She and Mordechai ultimately save the entire Jewish people and it is Haman who ends up being hung on the gallows he had built to use for hanging Mordechai and other Jews.

The holiday is actually a fun holiday. It involves dressing up in costumes, having parties, putting on silly plays, eating and drinking. My father used to refer to this as the Jewish equivalent of Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is the last time to get silly before Christians get serious for the upcoming holiday of Easter. Purim is the last time to get silly before Jews get serious about the upcoming holiday of Passover.

The customs of the holiday of Purim include giving money to the poor, giving gifts of food to others (M’shaloach Manot), hearing the Magilah (the story of Purim) read in the evening and then again in the morning, and getting so drunk you do not know the difference between the phrases “Blessed is Mordechai” (The hero) and “Cursed is Haman” (The villain). In Hebrew the term is Adloyadah, or ad d’lo yadah and translates to ‘Until you don’t know the difference’.

While this is a fun holiday and one in which many do drink, it is important to consider why this is a commandment. The idea is on Purim, many things are hidden. G-d is not even mentioned in the Magilah, the story of Purim. Still, with the way things happened, it is a foregone conclusion that G-d played a major role in the miracle.

You are probably wondering how this has anything to do with drinking. When we appear before a ruler or someone whom it is important we make a good impression, we are on our best behavior. Often times we ‘hide’ those things we don’t want others to see. Certainly if it is important to make a good impression on some people in society, it is even more important to make a good impression on G-d. This we might try to ‘hide’ certain faults we have. When we drink, we have less control over our behavior and actions. It becomes harder for us to ‘hide’ things and G-d has an opportunity to judge us not at our best, but arguably at our worst.

Regardless of what you believe or want to believe, the bottom line is the holiday is a lot of fun and a time to enjoy. And, as dad would point out, once the holiday is over, it is time to get serious and begin our Passover preparations.

I wish one and all a Happy and Frailach Purim!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Megilah

Tomorrow night starts the holiday of Purim. While most people are not familiar with the holiday, it is a fun holiday. Being that it is post Biblical, there are not THAT many laws associated with it and, of course, all the laws that are associated with it are from the Rabbis and not from G-d.

One of the laws associated with the holiday is to hear the reading of the Megilah, the scroll that contains the story of Purim. One is supposed to hear it twice, once at night and once the following morning. I had been concerned as to how I would get to a reading this year. I teach an Evening class on Thursdays until 9PM so it would not be feasible to get to a reading. On Friday morning, I have another class I teach that is about an hour away. While I could probably get to a reading in the morning, it would be cutting things close.

Then I looked at the College schedule and learned that I had this week off from teaching. It is Spring break. I am not surprised that they had the bring coincide with Good Friday (no Jews in the area of the college).

Yesterday I indicated that I like it when Easter and Passover fall in close proximity to each other. I still feel that way. With my current teaching schedule, however, the way that it is, this works well for me, having Purim and Easter fall in close proximity. I can now get to a reading on both days.

I expect to talk more about the holiday of Purim and the laws associated with it in tomorrow’s post but for now I will just wish all of those who celebrate the holiday a Happy Purim and I will rejoice in the fact that I will be able to partake in the festivities.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Passover And Easter

This year is one of those rare times that Easter Sunday does not fall right around Passover. I, for one, am a little disappointed.

Everyone always takes time to discuss how Chanukah and Christmas are similar. Really they are not, they are very different holidays. Passover and Easter, on the other hand, truly do have a lot of similarities and I think when the holidays fall close together, it allows more people to focus on those similarities.

Now, while I say the holidays are similar, obviously they have their differences; they commemorate different things. Still both are Spring holidays, holidays of renewal and rebirth, and that is no accident. Easter commemorates the renewal of life as the belief is that is the day their lord rose from the dead. Passover, however, also is about renewal. Up until this holiday the Jews were slaves and had not gained an identity as a religion. That does not come until the Jews leave Egypt and gain their freedom. The Jewish people, then, are being reborn.

Now, I have yet to figure out how the actual date of Easter is calculated. Since the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, Easter logically should fall during the holiday of Passover. Since Easter is pushed to a Sunday, it should be the Sunday in Passover. Frequently that happens, but not always. Then there are cases like this year where the holidays are a month apart.

Still, I think it is important to appreciate the difference amongst the religions as well as the similarities.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Be Kind To Animals

One of the Jewish concepts that I like is the need to be kind to animals. There is a belief that if you own animals you are supposed to feed them before you sit down to eat yourself. Now if you own a pet or two, it is one thing but if you work on a farm or take care of animals in a barn, it is quite another.

I like the concept because it teaches that we not only have an obligation to human beings but to ALL creatures. Still, when I became a parent a number of years ago, I did not realize I would be hosting a zoo in my house. My son has a lot of stuffed animals and when I walk into his room, it feels like I am walking into a zoo.

This week, there are actually two zoos in the house. My niece is up visiting and she travels with her stuff animals. As I walked past where she is staying, it felt like I was passing another zoo as all her animals were spread out over the bed.

The truth is, stuffed animals can help to teach children about responsibility. And, since a number of my son’s stuffed animals are Webkinz, that too can help teach lessons about responsibility and caring. I realize that it can take a lot of time and can be annoying. Still, after the pets are registered, you have to go to the website to make sure they are virtually fed and virtually played with. The animals also need to be taken to the vet, looked after and they need to receive a lot of TLC.

By doing all this, the child learns about caring for others, for animals (and maybe even for people). Yes, homework comes first. Yes, my son does not need to be on the computer all the time, but when he is, I feel he learns some good values from this website, and some good values that, while the people who run the website may not know, tie into Judaism.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Stranger Among Us

Every Saturday in Shul, towards the end of services, the Rabbi starts his announcements by saying, “if you are a member here and you see someone you don’t recognize, introduce yourself. “

I think this is a nice touch. I know when my father (Z’’L) came to visit, he often commented that he felt the shul I went to was very cold as no one would come up and wish him “Good Shabbos”. This was before the new Rabbi was there. I confess, I tend to be a shy individual and prefer sticking with my friends. When it comes to faces, if it is someone I don’t know, I am not particularly great remembering them and if I have seen them before. Still, I try. I know what a difference it can make.

I have always tried to make it a point that when I work somewhere, if someone new starts, I try to go up to him or her, introduce myself and say, “welcome”. Again, I am not the most comfortable doing this but I know it means a lot to people.

When I left a job to go back to school, the people I worked with came up to say goodbye and wish me well (not surprisingly). One person told me how he remembered how I was the first one to come up to him and welcome him and how that made him feel at home. I did not even remember this. I know, however, whenever I have started a new job, it is often times difficult and appreciated when people come up to me.

I recall another instance where I was at a meeting and I introduced myself to a guest and talked to this person. A couple of years later that person came to a meeting again. He found me. I did not even recall this individual. Still, he remembered me and told me how grateful he was that I cam over and introduced myself and explained some things that were happening during the meeting.

So, if we do it at work, at meeting places, school, etc., then certainly it makes sense to go up to people we do not recognize at shul and welcome them and introduce ourselves. The camaraderie aspect is important. Often times people of larger synagogues tend to forget this. New people and visitors stick out at smaller synagogues. Still, one way to keep a larger shul healthy, vibrant and remaining large, is to welcome new people.

The Rabbi is right and we should remember to always try and introduce ourselves to the stranger in our midst.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Snow Day

Last Sunday, I got the day off from teaching in the computer lab. I enjoyed having a day off from Religious School. Even though I enjoy working there, it was nice to have a day off. What was even nicer was, the call was made Saturday night. As a result, I got a call in the evening that I did not need to be in come the next morning.

As it turned out, I had been falling behind on getting my lesson plans together. I knew what the instructor who was bringing his kids to the lab wanted me to cover, but I just had not had a chance to search the web, find my links, and have everything put together. As luck would have it, just as I sat down at the computer to work on this was when the call came in. Not only did I get a day off, because I had procrastinated (or honestly, just been so busy), I did not even have to put anytime into working on a lesson that ultimately would never be used anyway.

Now, I am feeling a little guilty. This week, once again, has been hectic. It will probably be Saturday night when I sit down to my computer to get my lesson plan together. Once again, my day jobs have just been piling up work and I have been taking a lot of it home. It feels like I am just barely getting it done on time, but I am getting it done!

I know this Sunday we will not be having another storm. I will be showing up to the synagogue’s computer lab and I will need to have a lesson plan ready to go. It looks like once again, it will be waiting until the last minute.

Fortunately I have a number of effective websites in my files and the kids seem to enjoy them. Still, I hope to stop this last minute stuff and be able to spend some more time getting everything together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Three Torahs

Like many other people, I enjoy watching rare events. I remember, as a child, being able to stay up late, or get up early, to see certain eclipses, because they were so rare. Then something rare in sports happens, it is a thrill to watch because you know you won’t see it every day.

I like to see that same excitement transferred to religion, to Judaism. Periodically, throughout the year, we read from two different Torahs (two different scrolls that contain the written laws, the Five Books of Moses). Reading from three Torahs, however, is truly uncommon.

We read from three Torahs on Simchat Torah as we read the last portion of the fifth book from one Torah, the first portion from the first book from the next Torah and a special Maftir, special additional reading (which usually is just repeating the last part of what is read). This is the only time during the year when it is guaranteed you will be reading from three Torahs. The other times may or may not happen during the year.

If, for instance, Shabbat Channukah happens to also be Rosh Hodesh, the beginning of the new month, we read from three Torahs. You read one Torah for Shabbat, one for Channukah and one for Rosh Hodesh. You also read three Torahs when it is Shabbat, Rosh Hodesh and Parchat HaHodesh (the first Shabbat in the month of Nissan).

We also read from three Torahs, as we did this past Shabbat, if it is Shabbat, Rosh Hodesh and Shabbat Sh’kalim (the first of four special Shabbats that take place before Passover). By the way it is impossible for three Torahs to be read on Shabbat Sh’Kalim and Shabbat HaHodesh of the same year and it is possible that none of the three events happen in a year.

My son, whose age is still in single digits, is fascinated when we read three Torahs and specifically looks forward to it. I think that is the kind of excitement we want to instill in our youngsters. Make them excited about coming to services.

Friday, March 7, 2008


It is fascinating to find out what is on the minds of fifth and sixth graders. During the week I do some tutoring over at a religious institution This past week, I was with fifth and sixth graders. One of the assignments they had to do was to work in groups, pick a prayer and talk about the meaning of that prayer. For this assignment, it was not to actually talking about the meaning of the prayer but rather what the prayer meant to them.

Some of the students just were not into the type of assignment. Many of them, however, were interested and excited. Some of the students were poetic in there presentation. Some of them had some deep philosophical understandings of the prayers.

While I believe it is important to get students to shul, often times one of the problems is they do not understand the Hebrew prayers (This can be true of many adults as well). Usually it is due to the fact that people don’t bother to look at the translation of the prayer but sometimes it can occur because the English translation is not very good.

Taking a moment to actually stop and consider what you are saying when reciting prayers is, I think, a great idea. I think it makes a lot of sense for kids and it makes a lot of sense for adults. It can helps us have a better understanding of… A Jewish Thought!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Years ago, when I moved to a new area and joined a synagogue, I became friendly with the Rabbi. As the High Holidays rolled around, the Rabbi told me I should make sure that I was sitting next to people my own age, so I would have someone to talk to.

“Rabbi,” I said, “You want that during your sermon and during the davening (praying), I should be talking instead of concentrating on the prayers”?

The Rabbi smiled and said, “Whether or not you talk, I am still going to bang on my lectern for quiet”.

The Rabbi understood the importance of socializing. Yes prayer is important, but so is making friends and talking to others. This is why the Jewish service is different from other religions; there is talking going on throughout the service. It can be distracting, but it is important.

Consider, for a moment, the number of youth groups that religious organizations have. There are social groups for older members as well, but things are provided for the members.

My synagogue has two youth groups that cover people from age 12-18. Now, they are looking at starting a pre-youth group for members younger than 12. I do not know if it will work, but I certainly understand the importance. Children of all ages must be shown that we feel they are important. They must know that showing up to religious services is not only spiritually uplifting (although they may not see that yet), but it is a social occasion to be enjoyed as well.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roll With It

Teaching in the computer lab is a lot of fun, but at times can be a little difficult. I enjoy working with the different teachers and doing different things. Coming up with websites that deal with Judaism, are age appropriate and deal with the material the teacher is covering is a challenge and a thrill.

Most of the time, it is the same teacher bringing each of three classes to the lab. The same lesson works for all three classes since the material covered from one class to the next is the same and the ages of the students are the same. For the younger kids, it can be a little trickier, however, because there are different teachers and each one only brings in one class.

Yesterday I had two kindergarten teachers and one pre-K teacher come to the lab. The kindergarten teachers decided they would like me to do something on Purim. I was able to find some fun websites, games, and videos related to the topic. The Pre-K teacher was teaching about Noah and the ark and asked for me to focus on that, which I gladly did.

The interesting part was, after the pre-K kids left, I still had that lesson plan open on the computer. The substitute, who brought the first group of Kindergarteners down asked if the Noah sites were age appropriate, since she was teaching about Noah yesterday. The second kindergarten teacher also ended up using some of those sites, as Noah and the Ark was being covered by this teacher too.

I have no objections to changing things on the fly. In the words of Steve Windwood, “Roll with it”. I truly am fine with that. It is just that it would have made things a little easier if I only had to do one lesson plan instead of three.

Oh well, at least I enjoyed looking over the website. A Jewish Thought is good for the computer teacher as well and every time I look at these sites, even if I have used them before, I learn something new.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


It has been awhile since I have posted an entry. I’d like to be able to give a good excuse as to why it has been so long. Unfortunately, honestly it has just been the hecticness and craziness of life that has prevented me from posting. I am hoping to be posting on a more regular basis.

I recently finished reading an interesting book—Gilgamesh. I was reading a new translation but what makes this book so fascinating is, historically it is the oldest book that is known to the human race, predating the Bible by about 1000 years. I say historically it is the oldest because when it comes to a matter of faith, most of us (myself included) are willing to forgo certain aspects of common sense. For those who believe the Bible is G-d’s account, it will not matter that historians consider Gilgamesh to be older than the Bible.

What is fascinating about this story are some of the similarities between it and the Bible. You can actually find a number but the most obvious one is the story of a flood. The gods create a flood that destroys the entire world, accept for one man (who overhears the plot). This man, Odnapishtim, is told to build an ark and take one of every known animal on the ark.

Once that happens, it rains for seven days and nights. After the rains stop, Odnapishtim sends out a dove to try and find dry land. The dove is unsuccessful. Later, a swallow is sent out and it, too, returns. Finally a raven is sent out and it does not return.

Most of the gods are upset that they decided to create such a terrible flood; one is not. I am not quite sure why but, in order to make things right, the god who is angry grants Odnapishtim eternal life and makes him a god. I guess this way he can claim that the flood did destroy all humanity.

There are of course differences between this story and that of Noah. Still, there are a lot of similarities. If you believe that this story is older than the Bible, than it raises all sorts of news questions about the flood. If you do not, it still would suggest that we have historical knowledge about a very damaging flood.

Either way, I found the book very interesting and was fascinated by some of the similarities to the Bible (with, or course, a lot of differences).